Bill Scott

Bill Scott

Every once in a while you get to witness something amazing.  I witnessed just that recently when I took a trip to visit Arizona SHINE.

As most of you know their station has been sold and the staff will be out of work in the near future.  When the sale of your radio station is out of your hands you have a few choices on how you will respond.  You can act out toward the sale of something you love so dearly or believe that God is in control and use every opportunity of opening the mic to change someones life while you still can.  I am so proud that Arizona SHINE has decided to continue to make a difference in their community until the very last day.  I had a few staff members tell me that they don’t want to waste opening the mic, they want each break to count.

As one of their last events, Arizona SHINE decided to give two days of air time to Compassion International to sponsor kids.  They wanted kids to be sponsored as part of their legacy.  Every day in the limited days a head of them, the staff still wanted to make a difference and change lives.  The goal was for 75 children to be sponsored, the last I heard was; 86 were sponsored and listeners were still going.

I’ve been a part of a group of people who were family at work.  WCIE was a special station to me.  I shared this with the staff at Arizona SHINE.  We were devastated to be divided up all over the country.  Now 20 years later I can see God’s hand in what happened.  Instead of our being at one station, we have been able to bless many stations around the world as we went our different directions.  Jon Hull went to KLOVE and then started Word in Music and now making an impact on stations around the world through the KSBJ monitorship program.  Dave Kirby has helped many stations with programming, production and fundraising over the years.  I personally have been to over 100 stations in a few different countries helping them in the area of fundraising.  Jim Campbell started the Radio Training Network with His Radio, WIND FM, JOY FM and many more stations.  God took a few people at one station and has used them to help stations throughout the world.

Fred, Sally and Dave

Fred, Sally and Dave

I truly believe that if your station ends up with an Arizona SHINE staff member, you have found a nugget of gold.

Thumbs up to station manager Sally and the team for ending strong and ending with class.  I cannot tell you how amazing it was to serve this station one last time.  Please take time to send them notes of encouragement and remember them in your prayers.  Thank you Fred, Sally, Dave, Amy and the entire staff at Arizona SHINE for being great examples to us all.  You are indeed leaving a great legacy.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

We are only weeks away from fundraising season.  For eight weeks this time of year I actually put away my suitcase.  Soon, my trustworthy suitcase will be taken out of the closet and I’ll hit the road coaching stations in more than one country on how to raise money this fall.

Your fundraiser should be the biggest event of the year.  There is nothing that kills me more than when I find out a station has not promoted their fundraiser.  If you had a huge concert coming to your market and you didn’t air any promo’s about the concert, you didn’t play song’s by the artists and your announcers never chatted about how great the concert was going to be, my guess is few would show up for the concert.  As radio people we know you have to sell the snot out of an event in order to see great results and your fundraiser is no different.

  1. Your fundraiser should sound like the most exciting event that your station does all year long.  You should have your listeners so excited about this special event that they cannot wait to give.
  2. Your announcers should be talking on the air about how amazing this fundraiser is going to be, how lives will be changed and how the listener can be apart of something that will impact their city.
  3. Promo’s should be running with listeners talking about their station and how it’s made an impact on their life.
  4. Promo’s need to be running explaining what it means to be a listener supported station and why donations are needed and where they are going.
  5. Have fun counting down the days until the fundraiser begins.

The more education you do in advance of the fundraiser the better success you will have.  Never take for granted that your listeners know you are listener supported and what that means.  It’s your job to promote the results you have seen by having your ministry on the air.  Everyone wants to give to a winning team and you need to share the success you are having as a station and then give the listeners 100 percent of the credit for making that happen.  You are only able to stay on the air with the good news of Christ because of the support you receive from your listeners.  Use the phrase after playing a great listener story, “If you have ever given to this station, you made that happen.”

You must find away to promote your fundraising event in away that it will sound exciting and life changing.  I have no doubt this can be the biggest event of the year for your station.

Like always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions,

o-beats0705-webI saw this article today and had to share it with you.  I cannot post the whole article here but will provide  you a link so you can read it.  It’s worth the read.  I just sat here going uhmmmmm?

The innovators who brought you the iMac, iPhone and iPad don’t usually look backward. But with one of their signature services, iTunes, weakening against competition from streaming music providers, Apple this past week finally responded — not with any technological breakthrough but with a radio station modeled on half-century-old successes, complete with hyperkinetic DJs, relentless self-promotion and a listener request line.  READ FULL ARTICLE


Bill Scott

Bill Scott

We now live in a time where there are so many choices that compete with radio.  We compete with cell phones, computers, tablets, satellite radio, now streaming audio that goes directly to our dash in our cars and the list continues.

Even though this could be seen as a challenging time for radio, I also believe it’s a time where radio can really grow.  We are no longer bound to just radio but we are able to provide video, magazines and social media.  It wasn’t that long ago we couldn’t interact with our listeners once they turned the radio off, but now we can.  It wasn’t that long ago listeners could drive out of our coverage area, or go to work in a building that didn’t receive our signal but that has all changed.

So here is what blows my mind and perhaps it’s just me.  I’d love some feedback on what I am writing on today.  So why would a radio station buy the cheapest app available to them?  Knowing that with the right app your listeners can access social media, donate online, see the album cover of the song you are playing, allows the listeners to buy the song or full album, use your app as an alarm clock along with many more virgin-iphone-application-4features.  I recently wanted to listen to a radio station not in my area.  By industry standards this station would be considered one of the leaders and yet once I downloaded the app, I found it was perhaps the cheapest app you could buy offering very little to the listener.  On a side note, I never got the app to stream.  Why would your station buy state of the art equipment for your radio station and miss an app for the listeners phone?  Why wouldn’t you consider this app as important as your transmitter that you paid tens of thousands of dollars for.  The app goes everywhere.  Your audience can jog with the app, exercise, go on vacation, go into buildings that cannot receive your signal and listen to the app.  We live in a day and age where it’s no longer an option not to have a state of the art app for your station.

Here’s a homework assignment.  Go to an office and walk through the offices and cubicles and let me know how many radios youradio see.  Go to the gym and tell me how many people have a portable radio strapped to them.  Go onto the back deck of someones home and ask to see their radio.  My guess is you’ll come up with zero radios or close to it.  This doesn’t mean they won’t listen to your station with an app but it does mean things are changing.  We as a family haven’t had a radio hooked up in our home for the last seven years.  If we listen to radio, it’s through someone’s phone and only if the station has a good app.  We are not opposed to FM but we are opposed to listening through an actual radio.

It’s a new day and if radio doesn’t adapt soon, you’ll be in another business.  I would love to hear your feedback.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog.  I’ve written some articles for CMB and, which have some great topics that are worth reading.  I’ve also been zig zagging across the country doing fundraisers.  I am spending two weeks at home now trying to catch up and then off to Australia for three weeks doing more fundraisers.  You can be certain on the long plane ride to Australia that a few more articles will be posted.

So, from reading the title you are thinking, Bill has lost his mind.  Well, you might not be too far from the truth after all the fundraising I’ve done this Spring.  Grow your audience in three days seems something that is impossible.  It’s like watching a late night informercial where they promise you a full head of hair in just 48 hours.  We all know it’s not going to happen.  Ok, believe it or not I’ve been expected to do that from radio stations during their three day fundraising events.

There have been some fundraisers over the years that have not gone so well.   It’s during those events I begin to ask the station manager or program director some hard questions.  I always want to know why the phones are not ringing.  First lets get this clear, your fundraiser is for a time of harvest, if you haven’t planted seed all year long, phones will not ring at the level you are hoping for.  With that in mind here are some of the questions I always ask:

1.)  Have you been involved in the community?  This would include food drives, showing up at concerts, being seen at church events, family events, hugging and kissing babies etc…

2.)  Have you connected with your listeners?  How are you meeting the listener needs beyond playing music?  Perhaps you have Prayer Works where they can be prayed for.  Some stations have a station Chaplin, others meet the needs of their listeners in other ways.

3.)  Is your on-air talent touching the hearts of listeners between the songs?  Laughter, stories, news are all great but there has to be a spiritual connection as well.

The major question is why should your audience give to your station?  If you are only a glorified jukebox then don’t expect much.  If your station has been coasting for years, then why would your audience invest in what you are doing?  Listeners are smarter than what you give them credit for.

Now is the time to plant seeds so when you do your next fundraiser you’ll see the harvest you are looking for.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

Not long ago, a friend of mine was talking with a client and the staff made it known that doing a fundraiser was the necessary evil in order for them to stay on the air.

No doubt it’s a challenge to keep a non profit radio ministry funded, that is pretty much a given.  If your staff has the attitude it’s the necessary evil in order for your station to exist, then you have already lost the battle.  If you don’t believe in asking for money, the listeners won’t respond to your fundraiser in the way you need them too.  Asking for money is Biblical and can be something that actually blesses your listeners.

When you look in the Bible you find biblical heroes like Moses, David, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, Jesus, and Paul who asked people to financially support God’s work. Despite this, almost every time I’ve told radio friends that I love asking people for money they say, “Thank the Lord you like doing that! I find it hard asking for money and just don’t feel right about it.   I’m sure glad you like going around the country doing it.”

Moses did fundraising in Exodus 25 and Exodus 35.  He asked his people to give to the Lord.  You’ll find a difference in “whose heart stirred him up” and “whose spirit was willing” (Ex 35:21). Those who were willing they say, brought what was required.  That is good fundraising But those whose heart stirred them were more generous giving more than their obligation.  That is why we tell stories during fundraisers because it stirs the heart and when that happens you’ll find you’ll get a larger gift and one that is more likely to be an on going gift.  There is a lot to learn from Moses.

I thought it was interesting that it’s recorded that the offering was made to the Lord, not to the tabernacle.  If you read the story you’ll see it’s amazingly God-centered.  God was present in every step of the process.  As a radio station, you’ll want to learn from this with your own fundraiser because it fits perfectly and will perhaps give you peace of mind while asking for money.   Marc Pitman listed these below in one of his articles and he was spot on.

  • God details the need.
  • God tells how to use the supplies.
  • God prompts Moses to ask for them.
  • God prompts certain people to respond.
  • The people give to God.
  • The gifts are used to glorify God by craftsmen God gifted.

It’s so important that we take time in prayer asking God to determine your radio station’s needs and how you need to share those needs with your listeners.  I think you’ll be amazed at the response from your listeners when you do this.  With Moses, they responded with more than enough for the work.

This might seem weird to think of it this way but you are actually leading your listeners in an act of worship when you lead them to give.  If your fundraiser is done right, you actually teach many of your listeners about the principles of giving.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve talked to listeners that were so moved by God when they gave that it blessed their life.  God wants to use your listeners to do great things for the Kingdom and you are giving them a chance to do that through your station.

So this year you don’t have to ask your listeners for money, you get to ask your listeners for money.  You get to partner with those who believe in your station to do great ministry in your community.  Be excited to ask for money.  Fundraising is not the necessary evil in order for you to stay on the air.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

It’s fundraising season once again.  This is the time of year where I don’t put up my suitcase for about three months or so.

As I criss cross the nation and soon beyond the US I’m reminded of a couple of things.  One; fundraising is never easy and there are a few principles that you need to run your fundraiser by in order to make it a success.  It’s amazing how just a few tweaks can bring in thousands of more dollars during your event.  Already this year I’ve been able to be a part of some record setting fundraiser’s for some of my clients.

Most stations love having challenge money to use during their fundraisers.  No doubt this can be something that will help encourage other listeners to give and to be excited to make the call of commitment to your station.  So the question is this?  Can you have too much challenge money?  My personal opinion is yes.  You can do so many challenges during your event they become less impactful and even unbelievable.

There has to be more to your event than challenges.  If used correctly they can be a very powerful moment in your fundraiser.  The use of prizes during your event can fuel the fire, challenges, great themes, short goals and of course stories can all be part of a great fundraiser.

How much challenge money is too much?  That is really hard to say.  You don’t want to do challenge after challenge after challenge for your whole event.  Eventually that will begin to sink your fundraiser and you’ll have little impact in using this tool.  In a perfect world, I would love to keep a dollar for dollar challenge down to just four or five times a day.  There has to be more than one tool that you are using to encourage your listeners to pick up the phone and call.  Prizes, challenge money etc… don’t sell your station to your listener but they do encourage them to stop for two minutes during their crazy busy life so they can join with you during your fundraiser.

Learn to branch out from just using challenge money.

Give It Away

March 2, 2015 — 2 Comments
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

I believe what we are going to talk about works and if done correctly works really well.  This might be that extra shot your next fundraiser needs.

The other day I got a call from the world famous Jon Hamilton who runs Christian FM / WSCF FM in Vero Beach Florida.  He wanted to chat about his upcoming fundraiser and had one main question he wanted to ask.  The question was, what have I seen on the road in regards to stations doing some major prize drawings during their fundraisers.  My response is that I have a lot of clients who are using drawings for iPads, Mini iPads, TV’s etc…for drawings during their fundraising events and have great success with doing this.  Usually stations have one or two major drawings daily, so it’s not a ton that will clutter the fundraiser.  I’ll write more in a minute about the give aways.  I shot a note to Jon and asked him how using major give aways worked during his recent fundraiser.

“I have to admit I am a late adopter of give-always.  To me, it sounded too much like a lotto and I bristled at what I perceived to be bad giving motive.  But truthfully, the issue these days is often less convincing people to give, it’s convincing them to act NOW.  Eventually I became convinced that an incentive to interrupt the trip taking Johnny to karate practice to make a call was needed by Becky.

On WSCF had good success securing some giveaways, so we introduced drawings for TV’s, hotel getaways, furniture and food.  We even had a nicely catered home party for ten. (That was crazy)   

In the end, what it accomplished was a much more consistent stream of calls, and a marked increase in participation.  The pledge drive ended early with 110% of goal reached.  We had not seen that since the Florida real estate bust.”

I am telling you it works and I have to ditto what Jon just said, “…these days is often less about convincing people to give, it’s convincing them to act NOW.”  We live in a world where radio is competing with so many other devices, media and other distractions.  Many times your station has made the sale to your listeners but you have to close the deal, to get them to call right NOW.  Great prizes will not sell your station to your audience, that has to be done all year long, what it does is it gets them to call you when you give the number.  A great prize for your first day of your fundraiser could actually allow your station to have a great start.

Coaching with Bill Scott

Be careful how you give away your prizes.  You must make sure you don’t end up with a lottery on the air.  Everyone can enter your drawings, even if they don’t give and you must say this on the air at some point.  Usually I’ll say something like, “Any pledge you give right now enters you in our drawing, your financial pledge, you prayer pledge, just call now and lets see how we can support WSCF.”  I don’t do this a lot but I will throw that in a couple of times per hour.  If you want to have a log of when you make those mentions, than put together a promo to run once an hour has that information in it and you are covered in case someone has an issue.

In closing, I am told that Andrew Patton will be giving each station all the major prizes needed for your next event, just tell him Bill sent you, well maybe you better use the name Jon Hull LOL.

This Spring I am offering the The Fundraising Tuneup, two calls approximately one hour in length with management and on-air staff.  These calls would take place the two weeks leading up to your fundraiser.  This will include how to be more effective during your fundraiser as personalities, which of course will result in more donations along with a number of tips that will enhance your fundraiser.  It’s amazing how a few tips and some coaching can make all the difference in connecting with your listeners.  After being involved in over 600 fundraisers I have a list of things that will help your staff.  We can meet on the phone or a live video stream.  Contact me for more information about this service, space is limited due to my fundraising schedule.

Feel free to shoot me an email should you need more information at  Happy fundraising.

Bill Scott

Bill Scott-ShareMedia Services

I love Christian radio, I’ve given my whole career to it.  I’ve always felt that being in Christian radio was a calling that God had placed on my life.  I know this blog is usually about different things we can do to improve our fundraising and formats, however, I believe this is the foundation as to why we do what we do daily.

At each station I’ve worked at or any of the syndicate shows I have done over the years, I’ve always been encouraged to share hope, encouragement and point listeners to the Lord.  My guess is most of you feel pretty much the same way.  Being in Christian radio is more than a gig for you.  If we are not careful, the busyness of working in ministry will distract us to the point we  no longer work on our spiritual life.  Trust me, after 30 years in ministry, this can be done very easy.  It’s amazing to think we are working so hard for God that we actually put our relationship with Him on the back burner.  I’m the first to say I’ve been guilty of doing that.

Here’s my challenge for you as announcers, mangers, station owners and any staff members.  Make sure you are growing spiritually.  Spend time in the Word daily.  Take time out to be part of a church.  For some going to church is going to a church building, others it’s a small group in a home but at the end of the day it’s a church.  You have to be fed daily and walk in accountablity if you plan on growing in your understanding of Jesus.  You cannot give your listeners what you don’t have, meaning you cannot share encouragement, hope, understanding of the faith if you yourself are starving.   Again, you can’t give what you don’t have.

About a decade ago I was invited to go on a tour with five bands and a solo artist.  I spoke often at youth rallies and festivals because of my involvement in the youth ministry I was running at the time.  I was excited to join these bands on tour.  I’ll never forget about five days into a 30 day tour, finding out that none of the bands read the Bible, however, the solo artist did read the Bible so I had one person on my side.  The bands were shocked when I announced we would have a daily devotional together before each event.  Long story short, the bands began to see the concerts change and kids sharing that God had touched their lives during the events.  As the bands began to grow spiritually, spending time in the word, they had something to give where before they had nothing to say outside of playing their music.  They simply couldn’t give what they didn’t have.

We live in a crazy world that is hungry for hope and change.  We first owe it to ourselves, family and than our listeners to be fit spiritually.  This doesn’t mean we are perfect, not going through our own stuff but it does mean we are spending time daily reading the Bible and having a community of believers to share life with.

I long to have God fill me with his Spirit daily so I have something to give when I am on the air and at the end of the day, my guess that is your desire as well.  Lets make this year a year of growth, accountability and full of God’s power.  I’ll leave you with this powerful quote.

“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.” 

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Keep The Integrity

January 29, 2015 — Leave a comment
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

I am sure the first thing that comes to mind is that’s a no brainer.  Well, at the surface you would be correct.  There are not too many people that would tell you their goal is to not have integrity.

I have had the privilege of working in some sort of a ministry my whole life.  I grew up as a pastor’s kid and than followed my father in ministry.  I didn’t become a pastor but I did end up in Christian radio.

Over the years I’ve seen people in ministry lose their integrity.  Most didn’t set out for that to happen.  You see it’s the little compromises that leads up to failing the ministry that God has placed us in.  Rarely is it one huge epic fail.  I’ll never forget doing a sharathon at a radio station that will remain nameless, and the head of the ministry asked me to make up a $10,000 match.  I remember just staring at this man.  I was trying to process what I heard.  I had to repeat to him what he just told me in order to make sure that I was understanding what he wanted me to do.  He said, “Hey, its just funny money until it actually comes in.”  Now, it’s true some people call in their pledge and never make good on it.  What he was asking me to do was lie and mislead people.  He wasn’t happy when I told him I wouldn’t do it and if he decided to go that route I would have to leave the studio when he did it.  I don’t believe he got to this point over night, it was a series of small compromises.

My challenge to you is to keep an eye out for the small things.  If you are in full-time ministry, more than likely working at a Christian radio station, then Satan is waiting for the chance to trip you up.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  (1Peter 5:8)

513h5LORxdL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-51,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Keep in mind, it’s the small choices we make that begin the ball rolling.  My friend Ron Day has a new book out called The Hedge, The Winepress and The Tower, which is on Kindle.  I love what he said in his book, a great reminder for all of us.  This book is a quick read and well worth the time.

“In ancient times, when there was a vineyard planted, these little foxes (not the big ones) would sneak into the vineyard and eat the flower of the vine.  This was more damaging than just eating the grapes as this meant that the vine would never produce fruit.  The enemy wishes to use these “little foxes” to destroy the flower of our vine before it can ever produce fruit.”

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom”

(Song of Solomon 2:15)  

Make sure you hold onto your integrity during your next fundraiser.  Don’t do so much theater of the mind that it actually deceives your listeners.  Keep things above board.  When dealing with the ministries finances, keep it above board.  In your own personal life, keep your standards high and don’t compromise on the little things.  As most of you know, your personal life can spill over into your ministry and that last thing we want to do is destroy a ministry that God has entrusted you to work at.

Have a great fundraising season and lets be praying for each other.  I’ll leave you with this quote:

“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.”  Tom Peters